Prime Ministers Travel Costs Skyrocket during Controversial Holiday
Trudeau and his family spent their New Year vacation on the private Bahamian island of Aga Khan – the hereditary spiritual leader of the world’s Ismaili Muslims and a long-time Trudeau family friend. The vacation which was first reported to cost taxpayers around $125,000. New costs now project the already controversial holiday to cost over $215,000.
The vacation which was first reported to cost taxpayers around $125,000, now is projected to have cost over $215,000.
The Prime Minister commented on the issue recently, stating
“It is in the case for all prime ministers in the past and certainly into the future that wherever they go, whenever they go whenever they travel they require a professional, excellent RCMP detail,” Trudeau said Wednesday.
“I’m not going to question the job or the choices that the RCMP makes.”
Conflict of Interest
One section of the Conflict of Interest Act forbids public office holders and their families from accepting “directly or indirectly any gift or other benefits, except compensation authorized by law, that might reasonably be seen to have been given to influence the member” in their work.
Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson received a request to investigate whether vacationing on the private island constitutes a gift and, if so, whether it was appropriate for the Trudeaus to accept a gift from an individual whose foundation receives federal funding.
The ethics commissioner still hasn’t concluded an investigation into whether Trudeau broke rules by using a private helicopter to get there. Repeating what he said in the House of Commons as he received a barrage of questions about the investigation this spring, Trudeau told reporters, “I have always and will always fully co-operate with the ethics commissioner.”
He said the commissioner, Mary Dawson, asked him not to say anything about ongoing investigations, and that’s why he hasn’t provided details or answered questions about any meetings with her.
This is not the first time the Prime Minister has met the ethics commissioner in his term as his tenure has been marked by multiple potentially unethical choices. He only recently was cleared of unethical fundraising practices in regards to some of his previous cash for access political dinners.